Frédéric Joliot-Curie

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Frédéric Joliot-Curie

Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie (born March 19, 1900 in Paris , † August 14, 1958 there ) was a French physicist . In 1935 he and his wife Irène Joliot-Curie received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry .


Irène and Frédéric, 1940
20 Pfennig - special stamp of the GDR Post 1964 , Joliot-Curie as chairman of the World Peace Council

Joliot attended the well-known Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux near Paris and after completing his studies at the Institut du Radium in 1925, he became assistant to Marie Curie , whose daughter Irène he married in 1926. Together with his wife, he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 for the synthesis of a radionuclide , which they had recently achieved by bombarding aluminum with alpha particles .

In 1937 Joliot-Curie left the Institut du Radium and was appointed professor at the Collège de France . He was able to win Hans von Halban and Lew Kowarski for his research activities in Paris . After the German occupation of France in 1940, he took an active part in the resistance in the Resistance and smuggled his research results on nuclear fission to England. In 1941 he became president of the National Front of Resistance. During the occupation he was close to the French Communist Party . He was elected to the Académie des Sciences in 1943 .

After the war, Joliot-Curie became Directeur de Recherche at the Center national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and in 1946 High Commissioner for Atomic Energy in the newly established Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA) and in 1948 directed the construction of the first French nuclear reactor ZOÉ . He soon had to vacate this position because he and his team refused to take part in the construction of a French atomic bomb.

From 1950 he was President of the World Peace Council and a corresponding member of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin . In 1950 he was awarded the Stalin Prize for Peace by the Soviet government and an honorary doctorate from the Maria Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin. After the death of his wife in 1956, he took over her professorship at the Sorbonne and during the last two years of his life was mainly occupied with setting up the Institute for Nuclear Physics in Orsay . His children Pierre Joliot and Hélène Langevin-Joliot also work as scientists.

Joliot-Curie died in Paris in August 1958.


  • Michel Pinault: Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Paris: Odile Jacob 2000
  • Frédéric Joliot-Curie , in: Internationales Biographisches Archiv 42/1958 of October 6, 1958, in the Munzinger archive ( beginning of article freely available)

Web links

Commons : Frédéric Joliot-Curie  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Page of the former students of the grammar school ( memento from July 17, 2012 in the web archive ), accessed on January 5, 2012 (French).
  2. Werner Hartkopf: The Berlin Academy of Sciences. Its members and award winners 1700–1990. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1992, ISBN 978-3-05-002153-9
  3. Doktorzy honorowi UMCS Lublin, accessed on November 20, 2015